Today our Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries MOOC launched on the Coursera platform. It’s been developed by the University of Manchester and is endorsed by the Global Water Partnership.

Photo: Prof. Dale Whittington and I from one of our water MOOC videos.
Photo: Prof. Dale Whittington and I from one of our water MOOC videos. Filmed at the University of Manchester.

We’re very excited, and a bit taken aback, that our launch day analytics suggest we’ve got over 12,000 learners enrolled, coming from 182 different countries:

Water-MOOC-260514

It’s superb that 41% of our learners seem to be coming from the so-called ’emerging economies’. Hopefully that means we have people enrolled who would not normally have access to a course like this.

We’re also curious to know what impact our materials might have on people’s ideas and professional practices around in the world, both now and perhaps in years to come. The material in this MOOC normally only reaches a handful of people each year. This is the first time such large numbers will engage with it.

We really hope people will find it useful, informative and challenging; lively discussion forums are a part of all MOOCs, so I guess we’ll soon see if they do!

The water MOOC course is going to run for six weeks. We’ll address global water and sanitation infrastructure coverage, political economy and corruption issues, supply-side issues including costs, demand-side factors, climate change and health and non-health outcomes, and sequences of decisions over time that create and lock-in what we’ve called ‘water development paths’. We’ve also got a series of interviews with guests, e.g. with former UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) chief, Clarissa Brocklehurst:

Photo: Dale talks with former UNICEF WASH chief, Clarissa Brocklehurst.
Photo: Dale talks in our MOOC to former UNICEF WASH chief, Clarissa Brocklehurst.

Remember you can still sign up to take this water MOOC, and it’s completely free of charge. Please do come along and join in!

Duncan Thomas

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